Juncker says expects ‘Grexit’ off table if Greeks deliver


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said a Greek exit from the euro was "off the table" if Greece delivers on its promises for reform which have paved the way for negotiations with international creditors on a new bail-out program.

Greece's creditors prepared on Thursday for the start of bailout talks in Athens, after lawmakers adopted a second package of reform measures before dawn despite a left-wing rebellion that may bring early elections.

Had Greek lawmakers not voted in favor of reforms and new debt talks, the country could have faced a "Grexit" – an exit from the European Union and the euro zone.

"I have always ruled out the option of a Grexit," Juncker told Austrian ORF radio in comments broadcast on Thursday.

"I expect that Grexit is definitely off the table, but that depends to a significant degree on the preparedness of the Greek parliament … to perform."

Greek officials say they aim to wrap the talks up and have a deal approved in parliament by Aug. 20, when a 3.4 billion euro repayment to the ECB falls due.

"I expect that if the Greeks deliver what they have promised – which is what they are doing – then we will have a somewhat longer period of distinct calm," Juncker added.